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FTC Introduces New Orders For Intel; No Bundling

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the or-we'll-be-very-very-angry dept.

Government 155

eldavojohn writes "Today a decision was handed down (PDF) from the FTC that underlined new guidelines for Intel in the highly anticipated investigation. Biggest result: the practices Intel employed, like bundling prices to get manufacturers like Dell to block sales of competitors' chips, must stop. No word yet on whether or not Intel will face monetary fines from the FTC like they did in Europe over the same monopolistic practices."

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155 comments

Incoming sopssa/SquarePixel/odies trolling ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33140680)

sopssa = SquarePixel = odies. Three sockpuppets, one troll. Remember it moderators!

Peace out!

Re:Incoming sopssa/SquarePixel/odies trolling ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33140876)

You are worse than any troll out there.

Seriously please give it a fucking rest.

I am sure the /. community can deal with a troll or two, they have been since the beginning.

The moderation system does work, no need to constantly post about someone you have apparently had issue with.

Posting AC because you are a fucking asshole.

Re:Incoming sopssa/SquarePixel/odies trolling ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33140940)

you are a fucking asshole.

I know you are, but what am I?

So what does it mean for us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33140700)

No more garbage intel GPUs for computers?

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140800)

No more garbage intel GPUs for computers?

It would seem that way, at least to a certain degree. If Intel can't make their prices lower than everyone else via some back-alley 'bundling' then we're not likely to see the same market penetration. Beyond Intel being the inexpensive alternative to far superior chips from Nvidia and ATI, there's no reason to buy an Intel GPU, unless you're some kind of masochist that likes slow tech. x.x

Re:So what does it mean for us? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140844)

Other than, of course, the fact that an intel GPU comes on the die of every intel CPU sold, atoms excepted(for now).

This order just prevents them from trimming PCIe so as to make their GPU the only thing with a fast enough connection to the CPU that it isn't a total joke.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141376)

Intel CPU != Intel chipset

Re:So what does it mean for us? (2, Informative)

Tauvix (97917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142270)

The Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs have the GPU directly on die.

From http://www.intel.com/products/processor/corei3/index.htm [intel.com] :

This processor comes equipped with Intel HD Graphics, an advanced video engine that delivers smooth, high-quality HD video playback, and advanced 3D capabilities, providing an ideal graphics solution for everyday computing.

From http://www.intel.com/products/processor/corei5/index.htm [intel.com] :

Intel® HD Graphics on Intel® Core i5-600 processor series

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141416)

Other than, of course, the fact that an intel GPU comes on the die of every intel CPU sold, atoms excepted(for now).

What are you talking about?

Re:So what does it mean for us? (4, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142068)

he's talking about 2011/2012 when intel and AMD start packaging CPU's and GPU's in a single die on a regular basis, right now it's part of arrandale (the 32 nm i5's). I'm presuming he's just misinformed that this doesn't happen now on everything. Or he's making a bad joke about how people don't know the difference between a CPU and the whole computer case.

For AMD this is part of their 'the future is fusion' marketing. I can't recall what Intel has called it. Basically rather than a processor core you get a GPU core. So an 8 core, or 4 core machine can really be a collection of CPU and GPU cores. In the short term this isn't likely to impact a lot of /. readers on their home systems, since you can power, and cool about 1200 mm^2 of chips, split between cpu and GPU but if you want cheap, or cool 'fusion' is a good strategy. It's not like most computer actually need or want a decent (hot) GPU anyway.

As a game development guy I'm strongly opposed to intel gpu's in home users machines. They buy crap and then don't know why stuff doesn't work. But the business desktop is a whole other matter.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143660)

Rather than using the built-in GPU core for graphics, it seems like it could be useful for other calculations. This is basically a return to the old "vector processors", just with different names. A lot like Cell architecture, really.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

Tauvix (97917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142288)

See my post directly above for references. The Core i3 and Core i5 series chips have the GPU integrated directly with the CPU.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141666)

Other than, of course, the fact that an intel GPU comes on the die of every intel CPU sold, atoms excepted(for now).
BULLSHIT. Intel do seem to be planning to go down that road but right now the only intel chips with a GPU on the cpu are the dual core i series chips and the pine trail atoms.

The quad-core and 6-core nahelm chips don't have any support for shared memory graphics at all afaict so you have to combine them with a graphics card/chip that has it's own memory (which most likely for a desktop means a nvidia or ATI card).

The older core 2 stuff uses a conventional FSB setup with any shared memory graphics being up to the chipset.

Sandy bridge will apparently be brining in on-die graphics to all intels mainstream chips.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141048)

If Intel can't make their prices lower than everyone else via some back-alley 'bundling' then we're not likely to see the same market penetration.

In most markets Intel don't have to worry about 'making their prices lower than everyone else' because there is no-one else who can compete with them. AMD are only really competitive at the low end, precisely because Intel haven't dropped prices low enough to push AMD out of the market.

In addition, while it may have changed now AMD have farmed off their fabs to a third-party, Intel have traditionally had far more production capacity than AMD so there was no way that AMD could take much more of the CPU market without a lot of expensive expansion.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141396)

really? whats competative at the $300 point with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T from Intel? No really, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225 [newegg.com] is probably the best at stock speeds and it's only a 2.8ghz quad core(yes yes hyper-threading, but it doesn't work as well as real cores last I heard) 130W, and uses more expensive motherboards than the AMD.

A $300 cpu isn't really "low end", more like upper mid range. Sure the i7-980X will beat the pants off the 1090T, but you can buy 3 1090T's for the same price as the 980X. You certainly can do 2(including ram and motherboard), for the $1000 the 980X commands.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds-sixcore-phenom-ii-x6-1090t-1055t-reviewed [anandtech.com] for some numbers.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141536)

really? whats competative at the $300 point with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T from Intel?

The benchmarks I've seen show even an i5 being competitive with a Phenom II X6, let alone an i7. And if you're really looking for the best possible mult-threaded performance -- which is the only reason for buying a 6-core CPU -- why would you settle for second best?

Do you seriously think that AMD would be selling their top of the range CPUs for $300 if they didn't have to in order to compete with Intel's?

Re:So what does it mean for us? (3, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142162)

The benchmarks I've seen show even an i5 being competitive with a Phenom II X6

I am backing up my assertions. [cpubenchmark.net]

Intel does not have any i5 that is even close in performance with the higher end 1090T, which is what the poster you were replying to said he was talking about. Read that? Not Even Close.
The lower end 1055T (which you are talking about) also beats the best performing i5, the 760, and it is cheaper than Intels chip too.

On top of that, the OEM special-edition 1035T, even cheaper than the 1055T, also outperforms all the i5's.

The only thing the i5 does better than the AMD 6 core offerings is better single threaded integer performance (and thats only the best most expensive i5), but is worse at single threaded floating point. For multi-threaded tasks it gets literally destroyed by AMD's 6-core offerings.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142284)

Did you look at the anandtech benchmarks?

Applications like video encoding and offline 3D rendering show the real strengths of the Phenom II X6. And thanks to Turbo Core, you don't give up any performance in less threaded applications compared to a Phenom II X4. The 1090T can easily trump the Core i7 860 and the 1055T can do even better against the Core i5 750.

Yes the gaming benchmarks are in favor of Intel slightly, but how much of that is due to most games being 2-3 threads max, and them being optimized for Intel, or how much is the AMD chip really being slower. I'm willing to bet that the 1090T is about as good as and equivalent Intel when coupled with a 5670 or gtx260, and 8GB ram, but yet will crush that same Intel chip when I go to encode my dvd rip to h264... hmm looks like AMD wins in my book, along with the socket 1337 board being more expensive than AM3 AMD boards.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143360)

I would take that bet having owned both systems. The i930, which is the likely the best sub-$300 CPU from intel, easily overclocks to 4.2GHz, while the AMD doesn't even come close. Any game using a reasonable graphics card (295, 470, 480) on most games will favor the i7 greatly over the AMD solution.

i5 pci-e lanes suck only 16 2.0 + dmi (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142762)

so if you want usb 3.0 / sata 6 or any other add it it's cut video to x8 or use switch chips that still shear the x16 bus.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142318)

really? whats competative at the $300 point with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T from Intel? No really, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225 [newegg.com] [newegg.com] is probably the best at stock speeds and it's only a 2.8ghz quad core
And yet the i7-920 (which is only a 2.66GHz quad-core) seems to hold it's own quite well against the Phenom II X6. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=47 [anandtech.com] . It seems the amd is generally winning in video encoding while the intel is winning in most other stuff (unfortunately anandtechs charts are hard to read because some tests are lower is better and others are higher is better :( )

and uses more expensive motherboards than the AMD.
If you are trying to build a cheap system the i7-8xx series is probablly a better bet than the i7-9xx series It tends to give more performance per dollar and runs on cheaper motherboards. The downside is you get less PCIe and less memory slots.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143340)

I don't know if they still do, but Fry's had a sale with a MSI motherboard, and i930. With that combination, you could get a stable 4.2GHz overclock, semi-stable 4.5GHz overlock, for $289.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141798)

AMD is not competitive with Intel in the low end. AMD utterly defeats Intel in the low end, the only thing keeping Intel in the low end market is brand recognition. AMD is competitive with Intel will into the mid range market and even the start of the high end market (if you don't place much value on energy efficiency). Price/performance AMD curb stomps every Intel processor except the i7 920. But AMD does not compete, at all, above that performance point.

Re:So what does it mean for us? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142348)

AMD is competitive with Intel will into the mid range market and even the start of the high end market (if you don't place much value on energy efficiency).

The 32nm and 45nm Intel chips are all no more than 95W TDP up to 2.93GHz 6-core, and after that they are 130W, which is pretty much the same as the 125W for the 6-core AMD.

Price/performance AMD curb stomps every Intel processor except the i7 920. But AMD does not compete, at all, above that performance point.

The quad-core i5-750 beats the six-core 1090T in quite a few benchmarks for $100 less for the Intel chip. With the i5-760 only $15 more for 133MHz faster stock clock, it'll likely be even better. And, motherboards with the 1156 socket start at $70, so you can get CPU and motherboard from Intel for less than the CPU alone from AMD, and win many benchmarks.

If you overclock, it gets even worse, because the Intel chips can easily OC to 3.2GHz (the stock speed of the 1090T). After that, both chips are basically even in how much farther they can be overclocked.

Hardware based VNC (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142206)

There's one single argument in favour of Intel GPUs in the workplace :
They interact better with the Q series of Intel chipsets and are better supported by the "Intel AMT [wikipedia.org]".

For those too lazy to read the Wikipedia article : AMT consist of a small system which is always accessible over the network even when the rest of the PC is off.
This small system can be used to do remote administration.
At its most basic form, it can be used to turn the machine on/off or choose from which medium to boot.
It can also do console redirection.
If the graphic card used is a discrete one from ATI or Nvidia :
- Only basic textmode redirection is possible.
If the graphic card used is the integrated Intel :
- Full remote access over a hardware-based VNC server located inside the chipset.

The point of all this is to bring the level of administration which was possible until recently on high-quality servers (I think Sun servers have been having it for ages), to the administration of desktop computer in enterprises.

no bad it's locked to shit video that makes it use (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142802)

no bad it's locked to shit video that makes it useless next to the MS VNC and other VNC apps.

also for CAD work, VIDEO / PRO PHOTO work.

What About Loopholes? (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143076)

Co-op or cooperative advertising is a widespread practice. Basically a manufacturer covers all or much of the advertising cost for an ad that promotes the manufacturers' product(s).

Remember those Dell ads featuring "Intel Inside"?
(you should be hearing a few notes in your head about now...)

Is Intel now prohibited from paying anything towards vendor-specific ads?
If not, the DOJ hasn't gone far enough and left a major loophole.

Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140770)

Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? Oh my.

While I always build my own computers, this could herald a huge increase in funding for AMD's research.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33140824)

AMD Dells already exist.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140850)

Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? Oh my.

Probably not. Dell already used AMDs at some point in the past and canceled the line due to poor sales.

While I always build my own computers, this could herald a huge increase in funding for AMD's research.

It could and also it could not. This ruling doesn't obligate any OEM to stop exclusively using Intel chips in their computers.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140910)

Oops, nm it seems they have gotten back together after Dell canceled a line of AMD computers back in 2006.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142298)

Probably not. Dell already used AMDs at some point in the past and canceled the line due to poor sales.

You mean because of the big under the table payment from Intel that they have been using as a slush fund so they can hit their numbers?

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (2, Funny)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140864)

So Dells are going to get worse?

Oh boy.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142058)

So Dells are going to get worse? Oh boy.

No, this is good, because their worseness will wrap around (two's complement overflow) and make them really good.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140896)

Dell has sold AMDs for a while now. They tend to be the poor cousins of the intels(you rarely see them in the enterprise lines, and their BIOSes don't get the same Dell branding, and so forth); but they do exist.

At least back when I last looked, the convention seemed to be that the model numbers ending in "1" were AMDs, while the ones ending in "0" were intels, ie. the Inspiron 530 was a basic consumer desktop tower. The Inspiron 531 was the otherwise similar model; but AMD based.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (3, Interesting)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141044)

Poor Cousins? Rarely seen in Enterprise? How do you explain this [dell.com]? For those too lazy to click, it's Dell's PowerEdge Rack servers. Nice mix of Intel and AMD CPUs.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141192)

Poor Cousins? Rarely seen in Enterprise? How do you explain this [dell.com]? For those too lazy to click, it's Dell's PowerEdge Rack servers. Nice mix of Intel and AMD CPUs.

Hey come on now, this is Slashdot -- not Factdot. What're ya tryin' to pull here anyway?

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141344)

Good point. I was thinking of their desktop stuff. Particularly back when intel was still flogging FSB based stuff, AMD was just too superior to ignore in servers.

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142386)

AMD has a place in Dell's Enterprise line as well. The Optiplex 740 was an AMD only model that was available for 2+ years. It was replaced by the Optiplex 580 line. My former employer used this line exclusively for all desktop PCs because they couldn't justify the extra cost for running Office and connecting to Terminal Servers. Then again, they also refused to look at thin-clients because they couldn't lease them....

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141122)

you rarely see them in the enterprise lines, and their BIOSes don't get the same Dell branding, and so forth

Did you ever stop to think that the reason for that is exactly what the FTC just tried to stop? That they had an agreement with Intel to "lock up" the higher end market?

Re:Does this mean an AMD Dell is on the horizon? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142438)

Dell is selling AMD CPUs right now. They have for ages. What are you talking about?

apple systems with amd cpus comeing soon? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142616)

apple systems with amd cpus coming soon??

as they can make a nice low mini system with good on board video and give room for a $1000 mini tower as well.

sandy bridge, AMD APUs (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140882)

these machines have alot of components on one die now. (for instance GPU and CPU are in one chip as opposed to seperate chips)
so how does this work out?

no i didnt read tfa

Re:sandy bridge, AMD APUs (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141014)

erm and i thought i removed that last line... it wasn't in the preview 0_o

Re:sandy bridge, AMD APUs (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142122)

these machines have alot of components on one die now. (for instance GPU and CPU are in one chip as opposed to seperate chips) so how does this work out?

no i didnt read tfa

erm and i thought i removed that last line... it wasn't in the preview 0_o

It's OK; we know that nobody here reads TFA anyway.

Re:sandy bridge, AMD APUs (2, Insightful)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141688)

Works out exactly the same as the Microsoft anti trust things work for Apple.

It makes absolutely no difference to AMD because they haven't been investigated for anti trust issues and currently have such a low percentage of the overall market for PC chips that they are unlikely to ever get investigated.

The rules change for the abusive monopolists, not for their illegally stifled competitors

Re:sandy bridge, AMD APUs (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142510)

Makes no difference to Intel either, nobody's going to stop them integrating the GPU onto the CPU, the very idea is ridiculous. It's one product, and AMD does it as well. And no, being a monopoly does not mean you can't make the same business decisions your rivals do, it just means you can't use your monopoly to do things they can't. AMD can (and will) integrate their GPU as well.

Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contracts (1, Insightful)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33140894)

From TFA:

The agency said Intel forced computer makers into exclusive deals and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel’s.

Forced? How'd they do that? Giving a customer a good deal doesn't mean they are forced into doing business. Intel showed a profit, so they weren't exactly dumping chips either. I think it's a good thing Intel "blocked rivals" from making compatible chips. While Intel was busy screwing up Itanium, AMD came out with a good 64-bit technology, which Intel is now using. That saved us all from having to switch to Itanium (thanks, AMD!)

How will this change? Intel knows how many systems Dell, HP and others ship. They don't have to sign exclusive deals, but they can sign "volume sales" deals. Where does the huge discount kick in? At X units (where X is just about what your total sales forecast is).

Also I don't think that's AMD's problem (0, Flamebait)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141180)

Plenty of companies sell AMD computers. The thing is they are usually their lower end line. The reason is that AMD just can't compete with Intel's products in terms of price, performance, and power usage on the higher end. Even now they don't have anything that is a solid Core 2 competitor, and Intel has moved on to the Core i lineup.

AMD's real problem seems to be that they only do budget well, and Intel does that ok too. You get in to midrange and up and it is all Intel all the time.

Re:Also I don't think that's AMD's problem (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141480)

Plenty of companies sell AMD computers. The thing is they are usually their lower end line. The reason is that AMD just can't compete with Intel's products in terms of price, performance, and power usage on the higher end. Even now they don't have anything that is a solid Core 2 competitor, and Intel has moved on to the Core i lineup.

AMD's real problem seems to be that they only do budget well, and Intel does that ok too. You get in to midrange and up and it is all Intel all the time.

Part of the problem is that when AMD did have competitive high-end parts (Athlon/Thunderbird/64) Intel was using these practices to keep OEMs from offering them. You could not buy an AMD-based computer from the likes of Dell, HP, or Gateway until after Intel caught up and surpassed what AMD was offering in the consumer market (the Opteron was competitive for a longer time, and may still be, I haven't really looked into that area lately). But you're right, AMD currently isn't really competing at the upper mid to high end of the consumer/desktop market. This ruling might have mattered if it had happened 10 years ago, but right now AMD just doesn't have the products to compete - partly due, no doubt, to a lack of R&D funding brought about by Intel's monopolistic practices at a time when AMD parts were competitive (the only time it matters).

Re:Also I don't think that's AMD's problem (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141588)

Part of the problem is that when AMD did have competitive high-end parts (Athlon/Thunderbird/64) Intel was using these practices to keep OEMs from offering them.

If those chips were really that competitive the OEMs wouldn't have cared about losing their deals with Intel and would have been selling exclusively those AMD chips. But apparently the OEMs had a differing opinion on how well they would have sold since they stuck with Intel.

Re:Also I don't think that's AMD's problem (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141972)

Dell's argument was that AMD could not supply enough processors, which was true.

Now if Dell had said that they would be happy to sell those processors if AMD could make enough then AMD could have received funding to build the fabs that they needed.

If Dell had done that though they would have had to pay 30% more for Intel processors than they were at the time and Intel could supply enough for Dells demands.

Oh and Intel pays pretty well for advertising, all those Dell ads that push Intel are partially paid for by Intel.

Well AMD had a different problem back then (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142882)

That was chipsets. AMD didn't really make their own chipsets. They had one, but it was not that good and didn't support many features (like higher speed AGP). So you had to turn to VIA for chipsets. Those were, to put it charitably, a fucking disaster. I remember getting an Athlon 700, fighting with it for a couple weeks before finally determining that was to way to make a GeForce work on the VIA chip. Took it back, got a P3 and had no issues.

It was an even bigger issue for OEMs because you could single source your stuff. With Intel, they'll make you the board, chipset, and CPU. This is useful because it means if there are any problems, it is the same company that fixes it. With AMD you had a different maker for each part, meaning if there was a problem you'd get a 3-way pointing match.

I'm sure Intel's stuff didn't help AMD, but that wasn't the reason they lost out. They did not provide what OEMs needed to make use of their chips. You can have the greatest processor in the world, but if the hardware that supports it is crap, you have a problem.

Re:Also I don't think that's AMD's problem (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141606)

Part of the problem is that when AMD did have competitive high-end parts (Athlon/Thunderbird/64) Intel was using these practices to keep OEMs from offering them.

But if I remember correctly, AMD was selling every CPU they could produce at that time? And anyone who knew anything about computers -- i.e. those who'd be buying high-end systems -- was saying 'buy AMD, Intel sucks'.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (5, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141274)

You obviously aren't familiar with the business practices that led to this ruling. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like dell, hp, acer, lenovo, etc. get wholesale prices negotiated directly with Intel. It was suggested that if one of these OEMs was rumored to be in talks to offer an AMD proc system Intel would send a rep to advise them that they could no longer offer them preferred OEM pricing and the OEM would need to find a third party supplier to purchase their Intel chips in the future. Basically making the OEM buy their chips at retail prices. If you are looking at 20-30% increase in the cost of your primary component in an already tight margin product or shuttle your plans it's not hard to make that decision.

You also probably weren't aware of just how right your statement about the Itanium vs x64 was either. The Itanium was Intel's attempt to lock AMD out of the "clone" market because AMD didn't have a cross license to use the Itanium architecture. If the Itanium had succeeded there would no longer be a choice of processor for Intel based systems. Fortunately the Pentium 4 was a dog and ran very hot and consumed massive amounts of electricity. AMD meanwhile didn't rest on their laurels and came up with the x64 extensions which gave new life to the x86 line. Developers liked the x64 extensions because they didn't have to rewrite their code from scratch so it caught on quickly and Intel eventually licensed the x64 extensions from AMD.

Re:Obviously (2, Interesting)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141594)

Why is it so obvious that I'm not familiar with it?

Here's the "inside" scoop, as I used to work for a large OEM who used Intel processors. We would work on an AMD solution, and let Intel see it, and then give us a better deal (which would allow us to cancel the AMD project...until next year). If you are correct, just talking to AMD would get us thrown off the Intel bus (pun intended).

Mod parent down -1, INCORRECT! (OK, since you realized how correct I was about Itanium, we'll let it slide)

Re:Obviously (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141934)

I used to work for a large OEM who used Intel processors.

As it happens I did as well and I am aware of the tactics you speak of. I am also aware of many other predatory practices Intel uses to strong arm it's OEMs but couldn't prove so I shall keep them to myself. Needless to say OEMs must work with the devil they know and that was one way they used Intel's tactics against itself.

Re:Obviously (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142384)

Intel didn't do most of the things AMD accused Intel of doing, and lots of people have misinterpreted legal dealmaking as illegal dealmaking.

So unless you do have documented proof, I'm afraid we have to doubt you know of anything illegal that Intel did.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141626)

Sadly, the x64 extensions are built on top of a horrendously poor design, making x86-64 just that much messier than the default x86. At least some useless opcodes were deprecated in 64bit mode and the new prefixes are just some bits resulting in a dedicated opcode range rather than completely dedicated opcodes per prefix (tsk tsk Intel, tsk tsk tsk). I still say x86 should just die a horrible death and we should use something with a better design aimed at more modern hardware.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141994)

x86 exists because customers demand backwards compatibility; we're going to use it for as long as we have personal computers.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142544)

And yet x86 has stormed through the performance computing market leaving only very niche players. This is because nobody but a few nerds cares how nice the ISA is, and Intel/AMD have proven that they can can make it perform.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142024)

It was suggested that if one of these OEMs was rumored to be in talks to offer an AMD proc system Intel would send a rep to advise them that they could no longer offer them preferred OEM pricing and the OEM would need to find a third party supplier to purchase their Intel chips in the future. Basically making the OEM buy their chips at retail prices. If you are looking at 20-30% increase in the cost of your primary component in an already tight margin product or shuttle your plans it's not hard to make that decision.

So you're saying Intel, being the owner of the merchandise, cannot rightfully decide for how much and under what terms they're sold?

The Itanium was Intel's attempt to lock AMD out of the "clone" market because AMD didn't have a cross license to use the Itanium architecture. If the Itanium had succeeded there would no longer be a choice of processor for Intel based systems.

Using a government-created monopoly, I might add. Without that, nothing would have stopped AMD from making clones.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142418)

"If the Itanium had succeeded there would no longer be a choice of processor for Intel based systems."

It's been a long time since the x86 could be called "Intel based". Intel and AMD have been sharing instruction-set extensions for a couple of decades.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142508)

So you're saying Intel, being the owner of the merchandise, cannot rightfully decide for how much and under what terms they're sold?

That's right. If you have a monopoly in a market, your right to set pricing terms are significantly restricted by the law.

The very prospect of this tactic being effective pretty much proves they have a monopoly. In any actual "free market", a threat to raise prices would result in the customer switching vendors. In the x86 market, there is no other vendor that can guarantee enough supply for big OEMs, so the threat is viable.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143080)

Also, if my deal with you is based on not dealing with a competitor, that is over the line.

That said, it is openly ignored everywhere.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33144010)

Would it be illegal if Intel just decided to close up shop and stop selling processors, and sell other kinds of chips? This is effectively raising the price of their processors to infinity, so that nobody can get them anymore.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33142312)

Not quite.

There is AMD64 instruction code used today because of Microsoft and because AMD64 can run 32-bit x86 software. When AMD released the 64-bit opcodes, Intel didn't want to use them but Microsoft essentially told Intel that they are only going to write Windows for 1 64-bit processor and that will be AMD64.

In the past Microsoft had Windows for Itaniums, but Intel was not interested in moving these to PC market. Amd provided that solution and Microsoft forced it on Intel to use it.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142390)

Balderdash.

Let's say Company X sells 100k computers a year. Let's say Intel offers them a discount of 10% if they order 20k or more processors, 15% if they order 40k or more, and 25% if they order 100k processors.

Now this company decides it's going to sell other computers using different products and drop their order down to 80k. Now, of course, their discount drops to 15%. This is a standard discount business process, and there's nothing wrong with it even for a "monopoly". Now, if the company still bought 100k processors and Intel dropped their discount because they _also_ bought other chips, you might have a point. Does anyone have any actual evidence of this happening?

Uh, no (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142596)

". The Itanium was Intel's attempt to lock AMD out of the "clone" market because AMD didn't have a cross license to use the Itanium architecture."

Itanium had nothing to do with AMD and everything to do with the belief at Intel's own leadership that X86 was an evolutionary dead end. Only after customers balked and fled to Opteron in the enterprise did Intel look at how to wring more life from X86. Intel overestimated both Itanium's performance and the willingness of the enterprise to undergo a wrenching platform change.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142776)

itanums biggest issue was that it ran 32-bit x86 code slow. Sadly, the world have built up such a inertia of 32-bit x86 code (especially by way of win32 ties) that anything short of a computing cataclysm (or a media corp funded inquisition) will be able to produce a quick upgrade as seen during the microcomputers.

then again, it may well be that for home computing, until we hit some kind of full sensory VR, there is little real need for a big upgrade. As such the most adaptable of markets have gone away, leaving corporations with their upgrade and maintenance forecasts and plans.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141460)

"take this exclusive deal or no intel CPUs for you"
"take this deal or all you get is last model celerons and atoms."
"Take this deal or we delay sending you the newest chips until launch, and you will be 3-6 months be hind your competition in getting something to market"

Take your pick of the above, all which would have destroyed Dell back in the day of P3s.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141544)

Well, it is exactly what they did, and they were found anti-competitive for it. The point being that X should be the same for all the customers, as it is logical for a price governed by the manifacturing process. If it is not it only means that they are making you pay Intel because you sell many AMDs.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141656)

The point being that X should be the same for all the customers

There is no statutory or regulatory rules that says you can't give certain customers better prices. Companies do it all the time and face no legal issues by doing so.

If it is not it only means that they are making you pay Intel because you sell many AMDs.

If one was selling so many AMDs why would they care about losing their deal with Intel? If it was really as lucrative to sell AMD chips as people like to claim it would have been everyone would have just been exclusively using or heavily selling on AMD chips.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142196)

You cannot understand a world where it is more profitable to have a 20% AMD/80% Intel mix for a company?

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142568)

Sure. And now they're buying 20% fewer Intel chips, and any volume discount would be affected by that reduction in volume.

Re:Non-issue. Intel will just re-word their contra (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141642)

From TFA:

The agency said Intel forced computer makers into exclusive deals and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel’s.

Forced? How'd they do that?

Easy: Let's say Dell sells 50 million machine a year, and they are using 100% Intel chips. AMD wants to supply some of their business, and makes a bid to sell Dell as many processors as they can make (let's say 20 million). Dell wants to take the deal, and buy the remaining 30 million processors from Intel, but Intel informs them that if they do any business with AMD, Intel no longer supply processors for them (or will supply them at a much higher price than previously). Dell, faced with the choice of losing a supplier they must have to be in business, makes the only logical choice and doesn't buy from AMD.

On to your second point:

I think it's a good thing Intel "blocked rivals" from making compatible chips. While Intel was busy screwing up Itanium, AMD came out with a good 64-bit technology, which Intel is now using. That saved us all from having to switch to Itanium (thanks, AMD!)

"Blocking rivals from making compatible chips" isn't at issue here. Everyone does that; the x86 cross-licensing deal between Intel and AMD is unique among the industry. No one is saying that AMD should have been allowed to make an Itanium clone.

How will this change? Intel knows how many systems Dell, HP and others ship. They don't have to sign exclusive deals, but they can sign "volume sales" deals. Where does the huge discount kick in? At X units (where X is just about what your total sales forecast is).

Volume sales deals aren't illegal. Making your volume sales deal contingent on not doing business with a rival? That's a different story. In the example above, Intel would still be able to tell Dell that they would get a discount if they purchased 50 million processors, but AMD still must be allowed to say, "Hey Dell, we think you can sell 10 million extra units if you build machines around our processors". However, I don't know if the details of the FTC judgement would restrict this sort of volume deal for the duration of the supervisory period.

fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141016)

FTC has no legal authority to impose monetary fine unless the agreement is broken.

Biggest result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141026)

What about the fact that PCIe interface is now REQUIRED for the next 6 years? That seems HUGE.
I hope nothing newer comes out in that time!

Re:Biggest result (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142238)

PCI-E was released in 2004, 6 years from now would give it a 12 year lifespan. PCI was released in 1993, and it's still commonly found on motherboards 17 years later. ISA was released in 1981, was superseded by PCI 12 years later, and was commonly found on motherboards for several years after that.

A 12 year lifetime for expansion slots is pretty standard, if something better does come along nothing's stopping anyone from supplying motherboards with both slots, just like PCI-E/PCI motherboards today, and PCI/ISA motherboards from 15 years ago.

Re:Biggest result (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143392)

ISA was released in 1981, was superseded by PCI 12 years later, and was commonly found on motherboards for several years after that.

And, curiously enough, can still be found today [adek.com].

Re:Biggest result (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142602)

Honestly the PCIe cards are not even tapping on the door of the halfway mark for potential PCIe Bandwidth. I fail to see why keeping a good standard for the next 6 years is a down side.

Meanwhile, after crippling our own... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141314)

...we allow foreign companies to dump subsidized product in here and take money out. Why is it we have no problem emasculating our own, but when it comes to China's subsidized and unequal imports, our supposedly vicious FTC stands by like a mute paraplegic?

FTC (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141476)

"This case demonstrates that the FTC is willing to challenge anticompetitive conduct by even the most powerful companies in the fastest-moving industries," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement today.

If that's really the case, why aren't you putting a stop to carrier lock-in for cellphones? Some of those agreements are WAY more anti-competitive than any Intel contract ever was.

Re:FTC (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141560)

These rules are not what you do but the scale that you do it.

The Carrier Lock-in agreements are often because the carrier will subsidize the cost of your phone and if you leave early you need to pay off the rest of your phone. Also say the iPhone while a popular phone isn't doing much to stop people from choosing Android Phones. Even at AT&T. What is with Intel is it would be more like AT&T couldn't sell any Android Phones. As an AT&T Customer you can choose what type of phone you want. If you do not want a contract then you need to pay full price for a phone.

Re:FTC (2, Informative)

barzok (26681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141628)

The Carrier Lock-in agreements are often because the carrier will subsidize the cost of your phone and if you leave early you need to pay off the rest of your phone.

Then why doesn't my monthly bill go down when my 2-year contract is up? If I'm paying for part of the phone every month for 2 years, when the phone is paid off, my bill should go down.

Why this hasn't been investigated by the FTC yet I don't understand.

Re:FTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33142492)

Generally, they give you up to $200 off of a phone with 2 year contract. Thats at most $8.33 every month that would come off your bill if they were to offer it. Instead, they charge you anyways as an incentive to buy a new phone (and extending vendor lock in). It would be interesting to see someone lobby for a price reduction based on this.

They get away with it because there isnt an outstanding monopoly in larger metro areas. Even in smaller rural areas, you will find 2-3 competitors trying to make ends meet. Unlike land telcos, I have not lived anywhere in the last 10 years that didnt offer at least 5 nationwide providers (Sprint, Cingular (or Cricket after Cingular merged with AT&T), AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile).

If an area only had Verizon and AT&T, and Verizon was using volume to squeeze AT&T out of the market, you could guarantee there would be a fight in court about it. Since there is no out-lier in the cell phone market, there really cant be any monopolistic advantage.

Re:FTC (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33143030)

I don't mind requiring a 2-year contract if I buy a subsidized phone.

But why on earth is the phone sim-locked? THAT is anti-competitive. After 2 years of my iPhone 3G, I can't go to T-Mobile if I wanted to without hacking my phone.

They should really make sim-locking illegal. (Yes I know that its legal now for you to unlock it yourself, but that requires know-how, breaks your warranty, and potential unintended consequences).

Re:FTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33143754)

Your OP post was about cell phone lock-ins, not contracts.

A contract outlines the subsidy and the early termination penalty. This alone should cover the amount to subsidize the phone.

Therefore, locking the phone itself to the carrier is totally unnecessary and is anti-competitive. QED.

Re:FTC (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143396)

"This case demonstrates that the FTC is willing to challenge anticompetitive conduct by even the most powerful companies in the fastest-moving industries," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement today.

If that's really the case, why aren't you putting a stop to carrier lock-in for cellphones?

Carrier lock-in for cellphones mostly comes from:
1. Incompatible hardware used on different networks, so that a phone for certain carriers won't work for certain other carriers -- that's clearly FCC, not FTC, jurisdiction.
2. Contract "early termination" penalties (tied in part to phone subsidies) -- already been addressed through rules requiring pro-rated reduction of early termination penalties rather than the flat penalty any time before the scheduled end of the contract period. And there are no-contract plans available from many carriers, as well, so being tied to a contract is mostly a choice that is not required to get access to the network.
3. Not wanting to change numbers -- already addressed through number portability rules.

I don't think there is as much real "lock-in" as there are people preferring getting the latest and greatest phone subsidized by their current provider to changing providers, even when they aren't completely happy with service.

Re:FTC (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33143764)

It's not just the lock-in, it's the entire cellular industry. It's a disaster. In foreign countries, phone service is MUCH cheaper, and MUCH higher quality. People in Finland get better cellular reception in remote, unpopulated parts of the country than we do in our cities. And they get it for less money, and without all the stupid fees added on for every little thing.

Regulation in the USA is a disaster. They're giving Intel grief over things done 10 years ago, even though no one is complaining about the CPU market, but completely ignoring industries where bad behavior and collusion between oligopoly members is clearly hurting the market.

Is this because of Nvidia ION etc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33141716)

I always liked the specs on the ION, but ATOM seemed to have it locked with the cheaper bundled chipset. Maybe this will finally make them price competitive, and make Intel do descent onboard graphics for netbooks!

Re:Is this because of Nvidia ION etc? (1)

slayer_ix (927649) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142124)

Decent netbook graphics aren't what I'm worried about. I want a netbook with a processor and chipset that both sip a few watts of power. The current Atom chipset eats way too much watts in comparison to the atom cpu. Hoping AMD will eventually challenge them in this area.

please don't stop here (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#33141952)

Can we have a similar ruling for Apple and AT&T please?

cable tv and the cable box also cable card is a jo (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142692)

cable tv and the cable box also cable card is a joke. No VOD, SDV needs a box to work.

You should be able to buy the box and not be foreced to rent it or rent a cable card and get VOD, PPV and all the other stuff that rented box get's.

No fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33142146)

The FTC doesn't have the ability to levy fines, so there aren't coming from the FTC, see...

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/04/technology/intel_ftc_settlement/index.htm

This settlement is a joke. (5, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 3 years ago | (#33142272)

This agreement will have very little impact on anything. Intel is a corrupt monopolistic business and they can continue to dominate and manipulate the marketplace even if they comply with the terms of the settlement.

Here is a good technical description of the actual terms:

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4205889/Intel-not-fined--agrees-to-restrictions-in-FTC-deal [eetimes.com]

Read it. All it does is require that Intel stop engaging in the monopolistic practices that it has been using for the last 10 years. So their punishment is that they have to obey the law for the next 5 years. They pay no fine. They don't admit that they did anything wrong.

The best part is at the very end of the article. This is where the juicy details are always buried.

The settlement gives the FTC authority to appoint technical consultants to monitor Intel's compliance with the settlement agreement. These technical consultants will be subject to Intel's approval and paid by Intel. The settlement requires that the technical consultants be given access to technical information on Intel products as well as other information like company personnel and finances. The total amount that Intel is required to pay for the 10-year duration of the FTC's order is limited to $2 million to all technical consultants.

Two million dollars to monitor a company a size of Intel for 10 years? Pathetic.

Despite the hype that the press will put out, this is a complete win for Intel. No fine. No one in the company is held responsible. No admission of guilt.

You have been getting ripped off for 10 years by Intel/Dell/HP in the form of higher prices and decreased innovation. Remember it was AMD that created the x86 64 bit architecture, not Intel. When Intel was paying bribes to Dell none of that money was going into R&D. The EETimes article makes it clear that Intel was modifying it's architecture to make AMD look bad, not to make any real world code run faster.

Your will not get a dime in compensation for the higher prices you have been paying. When you see figures that Dell paid $500 million in fines, or Intel paid AMD $1.2 billion to settle a court case, they are paying with money they stole from you, the consumer.

This settlement is a joke. Non of the people who profited will be held accountable or loose any real money. Consumers had untold billions of dollars stolen from them and the crooks got away clean. Welcome to our so-called capitalistic market driven economy, sucker.

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